How to choose the right hotel suppliers for your travel business?
Choosing the right hotel suppliers will not only have a direct impact on your profitability, but will also impact your sales based on the products being offered to your end customers. However, choosing the right hotel suppliers can be complicated, since there are hundreds of hotel suppliers worldwide! In this article, we will discuss a few tips on how to choose the right hotel suppliers for your travel business.
Choose the right hotel supplier - quality over quantity
If you have not yet launched your business, it´s wise to decide on a certain niche you want to focus on and source suppliers accordingly. If your business is up and running, it´s crucial you analyze your data prior to deciding upon which suppliers to source.
Some of the key data points you want to look for are:
Do your customers tend to book 4 or 5 star hotels, or do they prefer budget hotels?
Do you sell hotels mainly in metropolitan areas? Or do you sell more all inclusive beach hotels?
Do your customers tend to purchase hotels from certain chains? Or do they purchase more boutique hotels?
Once you have this data, your search will become much easier. A few things to focus on are:
Look into the net rates of the same hotels for multiple dates on multiple providers. The same hotel can be offered at very different prices on different suppliers.
While quality is key, it requires the same effort to connect to a supplier with 10,000 properties and to a supplier with 500,000 properties. So make sure your invested effort in aggregating suppliers opens the doors to a large amount of potential inventory to sell.
Research if your supplier will provide you better rates as you scale your business.
Certain suppliers have better price agreements in certain areas. Once you have analyzed your data, research which suppliers are known to have great rates in a specific region.
What is the credit line each supplier is willing to provide you along with the payment terms?
Does the supplier have certain requirements you need to fulfill, such as maintaining a certain look to book ratio, cancellation ratios etc?
Does the supplier offer other products besides hotels? This can be beneficial in order to sell package deals.
Alternative payment methods - does the supplier offer payment via a gateway or payment due at the hotel?
Outstanding customer service - this is something that is not negotiable. You want to make sure that in case of a mishap or emergency, you or your customer can pick up the phone and be attended swiftly by the supplier.
What hotel information is available about each property? Does the supplier provide a map, coordinates and detailed description about the room and property?
In order to simplify integrations to multiple suppliers, look into connecting to an IT platform, which allows you via 1 API to connect to hundreds of different suppliers. We recently wrote an article about how to choose the right IT Hub for you. If you do choose to connect to suppliers via an IT Platform, it´s important to know that Pruvo Revenue Maker has partnered with the IT Hubs TravelgateX, Parsec and IT4T Solutions in order to provide Pruvo´s hotel repricing service for all of these IT Hub´s customers directly within their platform.
Learning how to choose the right hotel supplier for your travel business requires proper due diligence prior to connecting to suppliers, which will help you maximize profitability in the long run.